WEC Energy Group has been selected to provide electrical power to Cliffs Natural Resources’ Tilden mine in Michigan, US.

Under a 20-year agreement, WEC will provide a cost-effective energy-generating capacity solution and work to resolve energy reliability issues.

The company plans to construct, own, and operate 170MW of new natural gas, which will generate capacity across two sites in the Upper Peninsula.

The proposed facilities require regulatory approvals and are expected to commence operation in 2019.

"WEC will provide a cost-effective energy-generating capacity solution and work to resolve energy reliability issues."

Cliffs Natural Resources' chairman, president, and CEO Lourenco Goncalves said: "With a significant and longstanding presence in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that spans over 160 years, Cliffs' commitment to operate in the region for many more years to come has been greatly enhanced through this new energy agreement with WEC Energy Group.

“With a stable, long-term source of power in place, Tilden will also continue to be the most operationally efficient producer of pellets for the domestic steel industry.

“Our collaboration with WEC Energy Group, Governor Snyder, and the State of Michigan has resulted in a strategic energy solution for the Upper Peninsula, which optimises affordability and improves reliability for all ratepayers for decades to come."

Cliffs supplies iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from its mines and pellet plants in Michigan and Minnesota.

Image: The Tilden mine is located in Michigan, US. Photo: courtesy of Cliffs Natural Resources.